Doctor flies to Indonesia to aid earthquake victims

PUBLISHED: 10:31 15 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:09 11 May 2010

James Gough, pictured during a visit to India

James Gough, pictured during a visit to India

A JUNIOR doctor cancelled his holiday to fly out to Indonesia to help victims of the recent earthquake. Dr James Gough, from Barley, has joined a team of Australian and Indonesian doctors working with residents of Padang, the city which bore the brunt of

A JUNIOR doctor cancelled his holiday to fly out to Indonesia to help victims of the recent earthquake.

Dr James Gough, from Barley, has joined a team of Australian and Indonesian doctors working with residents of Padang, the city which bore the brunt of the quake when it struck two weeks ago.

James is the son of Dr Peter Gough, GP at Royston's Market Hill surgery and the Barley Surgery.

Dr Gough senior said: "My wife and I fully support him, and feel it was an important thing for him to do. He flew out last Tuesday, and comes back next weekend.

"To begin with he was in regular email contact, but they haven't had that facility for the last few days, so we've had to rely on the odd text."

Currently working as an accident and emergency doctor at Swansea hospital, James had been planning a two-week break in Europe when news of the earthquake forced him to reconsider.

"One minute he was going to France for a holiday, and the next he had booked a flight to Jakarta [the Indonesian capital] and was on his way out there," said Dr Gough.

"He contacted a couple of the aid agencies, such as Medicins Sans Frontier, but he was a bit too late to register with them, so just went out on spec and met up with the team he's working with now.

"They seem to be a well supplied team, in that they had all the medical bits and pieces they needed, as well as four by fours to get about, so I think they've been able to get to a lot of people and help them.

"By the sounds of things it's been non-stop, treating people all day without any breaks."

It is not the first time that James has flown abroad to help those in distress. He has made several trips to the Khandel area of India, to help poor villagers supported by Khandel-Light, the charity which was set up by his father.

And Dr Gough expects his son to return with plenty of harrowing stories when he comes back to the UK.

"He was telling me about one little girl who had gone down to the shops when it happened. When she got home, she discovered that her family had been killed in the quake," he said.

"James is flying home this weekend, then going straight back to work, so it's all go at the moment for him.

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